From Finance to the Front Line: Abdi’s Experience
August 5th, 2021
We interview Abdi, a Redthread Youth Worker, about his recent career change within Redthread.
How have you found the transition from Finance Officer to Youth Worker so far?
The transition has been very smooth. As I’ve already been with Redthread for 18 months, I’ve been able to build a rapport with youth workers over time and gain an insight into the nature of their work including how cases work from beginning to end. As a youth worker, I’ve been able to implement this knowledge from the day I started including liaising with housing officers, social workers and police officers and other professionals. Of course, there’s no better way to grasp the work we do than learning on the job.
Why did you choose to embark on a youth work career at Redthread?
My background is working as an appropriate adult in police custody, supporting young people aged 11-18 and adults with mental health conditions. My role was to explain how interviews and processes in police custody work as well as safeguarding young people. I currently still assist with court referrals in my spare time where I create support programmes as part of a team to give young people opportunities, hoping that this reduces the likelihood of them reoffending.
Redthread has always been a nurturing and supportive environment. The opportunity to access core training as a Finance Officer and truly understand what trauma-informed work entails in addition to the importance of teachable moments was invaluable. I knew that a career change at Redthread would be seamless because of the strong working relationships I already built and the support that was available.
How has your experience as a Finance Officer helped you in your current role?
I’ve always been interested in teaching young people financial literacy and money management skills. This is a key component that’s often missed from the curriculum in education that’s necessary as young people experience the tough transition to adulthood. I feel my specialist knowledge will help the young people I see to think ahead and look forward to a future that’s more positive than their current situation.
Tell us about an experience in the hospital that has moved you.
I remember before applying for my current role, I shadowed the St Mary’s team. I sat with a young person who was a Syrian refugee that had been assaulted in their new local community. We bought them food and as they had a neck brace on, I opened a bottle of water, poured it into a cup with a straw and held it up for them to drink from. They mentioned how much such a small act of kindness reminded them of ‘back home’ and this really touched me. Facilitating that experience showed me how special the work we do is and confirmed that I made the right decision to pursue youth work.
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